A mother who tragically lost her life after an apparent epileptic fit while breastfeeding her baby boy has been named as Marie Downey. Her son Darragh was also confirmed dead on Tuesday evening.
A baby boy found underneath the dead body of his mother on Monday morning has tragically lost his fight for life.
Marie Downey from Co Cork was discovered on the floor of her single bedroom in the Cork University Maternity Hospital earlier this week, with her four-day-old son Darragh lying beneath her.
It is thought that Downey, who suffered from epilepsy, had a seizure while breastfeeding her son and fell from the bed. Despite the best efforts of medical staff, her newborn baby also passed away on Tuesday.
“South-South-West Hospital wishes to confirm that a baby boy passed away at Cork University Maternity Hospital last evening (Tuesday),” said the hospital spokesman.
“The mother of the four-day-old infant died at the hospital on Monday morning - as with all unexplained deaths, a full medical investigation was immediately initiated. This investigation is currently underway at CUMH.”
Downey, a mother of three who worked at Novartis Pharmaceutical Company, is believed to have had a medical episode early on Monday morning, falling from the bed and trapping her baby beneath her. Nursing staff had checked on the mother and son at 7 am but when a medical team came on their round at 8 am, they found the 36-year-old on the floor.
Doctors tried to resuscitate her but she was pronounced dead a short time later.
Her son Darragh also died of his injuries the following day.
A postmortem will be carried out on Downey on Tuesday and on her son Thursday, the results of which will be included in a file that gardaí (Irish police) will prepare for an inquest at Cork City Coroner’s Court.
“They are a very close community and take great care of each other and everyone feels the Downey tragedy and they are gathering here every morning to pray for the Downeys and to pray for Marie and the little boy Darragh," said the local parish priest Fr Eamonn Kelleher
“They are being surrounded by support but at the same time, the whole community feels helpless.
“Her husband Kieran is from Knockanevin. Kieran’s sister works in the local national school and Kieran and Marie’s eldest boy is in that school too. It’s a very close-knit community and there is immense respect for the Downeys. I know the people there with great sensitivity will do everything they can,” he added.
“There is terrible sadness that that cross is on the shoulders of Kieran and the Downey family.”